Brazil Travel Tips

From: Brazil Travel Guide

See also: Brazil Travel InformationBrazil Travel Advice

Brazil Travel Tips
When travelling to any country try to be as prepared as possible and use your common sense.

The weather and peak holiday times can play a big part on visiting certain areas, with factors such as the rainy season, humidity and peak times for crowds all needing consideration according to your preferences. However it is worth knowing that much of Brazil has plenty to offer no matter when you plan to visit.

In the Amazon the rainy season runs from about December to May during which time it can rain for several days. The temperatures can be higher and more humid during the months of June to November, with March, April, May and June often producing some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities, although there are no rules.

River boat cruises along the Amazon River vary considerably in terms on accommodation, facilities and comfort levels from luxury air conditioned private cabins which are great for helping to keep your belongings safe to hanging your hammock on deck along with everyone else on the trip, the latter can get very cosy and you are best advised to board early to get the best hammock positioning possible.

Amazon wildlife can be very difficult to view due to the dense cover of the forest however it does add an rewarding element to the trip with the wildlife that you do see.

The rainy season runs from December through to about March and causes extensive flooding to the area, which can make travel and wildlife viewing difficult unless you are in a boat. One of the most rewarding times for animal viewing is during the dry season of April to October.

Iguaza Falls
It is worth knowing that Iguacu National Park and Iguaza Falls becomes incredibly crowded during Brazil's main holiday seasons of January, February, June and July as well as during the Easter break and you'll find accommodation prices are often higher at these peak times. The most amount of rainfall is usually around June to August with December through to March producing the hottest and most humid time to visit the Falls. January and February often producing blue skies perfect for taking pictures with the months of September and October often the least crowded with weather that is usually not overbearingly hot or humid.

Key things to pack for a trip to areas such as the Amazon or Pantanal would be would be a lightweight raincoat, sun hat, sun cream, insect repellent, such as one containing DEET which is often considered one of the best and clothing that covers up as much skin as possible to help prevent insect bites.

In the south of Brazil temperatures can become colder at night so it can be useful to pack some slightly warmer clothes such as a light jacket.

Be on your guard when in crowded public areas as they are often targeted by pickpockets, this is especially paramount during Carnivals and festivals where huge crowds gather.

Make photocopies of your passport and visa information which you can carry around with you, enabling your real identification and documentation to be locked away in a safe place.

Carry minimal amounts of cash and cards in your wallet and dress down when it comes to wearing jewelry. Wearing a money belt around your waist can be a useful addition in helping keep your wallet, money etc safely out of reach, especially if you are planning to visit any crowded areas.

Arrange for your hotel or restaurant to call a taxi if you require one as this will help ensure that you obtain a legitimate driver and are less likely to get ripped off or robbed.

If you are planning to take photographic equipment near Iguazu Falls then make sure you have adequate protection for your gear as there is often a fair amount of spray around and especially so if you plan to take the superb boat ride close the falls where part of the fun is to get drenched! The same warning applies to many other areas such as the Amazon where when it rains it really rains!

Consult your physician well before you plan to travel to Brazil to ensure that you are correctly prepared with all necessary vaccinations. It can also be useful to take with you your own first aid kit and treatment for travellers diarrhoea as well.

Food and Drink
Most major cities have treated water supplies generally making the water safe to drink and products such as ice or washed food items not a problem. However when in areas that do not have treated water supplies, avoid food and drinks from street vendors, drink plenty of bottled water and stay clear of ice in drinks or if in any doubt drink only bottled water.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival
As well as being prepared for huge crowds, if you wish to obtain a ticket for the Sambadrome Stadium where the main parade goes, you will need to book a ticket as early as possible and by going through a reputable travel agent will help ensure the validity of your ticket. The best time for parades is on Carnival Sunday and Monday when the top Samba schools perform with seating around the middle often offering some of the best viewing of the Samba schools.

Driving yourself around Brazil does give you freedom however the driving culture leaves a lot to be desired so be incredibly vigilant when driving, with road conditions, other road users and with pedestrians as well. Get a map of the areas you plan to go to and be aware of changing road conditions during the rainy season which can cause flooding and many roads to be closed.